Thursday, December 2, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright Museum to close

I was surprised to receive the following message, sent to the SLED (Second Life Educator's List)


I am saddened to announce the closure of FLWVM by request of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. We had been negotiating for next year's licensing agreement when they abruptly terminated discussions Monday, November 29, and immediately served FLWVM with a Cease & Desist Order. We are no longer able to present any images or works of Mr. Wright. As content providers to the SL community, that leaves us with nothing to provide.

We particularly regret this unhappy ending in that we considered ourselves an exemplary example of SL/RL interaction in working with the foundation devoted to preserving Mr. Wright's reputation, as we were, and doing so in an honorable fashion. We all know of the assumptions that can be made in SL when people build without regard for IP legalities in RL. That's not what the FLWVM board and staff are about.

We are an active, interested group of people, seriously devoted to bringing interesting material to the SL community. We have non-profit status with the US Government, and don't want to see that going to waste. Once the removal is completed December 10, 2010, we will regroup and discuss future possibilities.

Speaking of legalities, if you know of anyone building, selling, representing anything Wrightian in SL, I would strongly advise them to proceed with great caution - they can expect to hear from the foundation's attorney soon. Please feel free to contact me for any further information.

For those who would like to join us, you are cordially invited to a Good-bye to All That dance at the FLWVM site Friday, December 3, 2010. From 6:00-7:00 pm SLT we will have a live performer and from 7:00-9:00 pm SLT there will be a DJ spinning tunes and taking requests. If you can stay until the end, you will find a hauntingly appropriate song being played.

Rosalie Oldrich
Co-Executive Director
Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Full Moon Lunacy Concert Nov. 21, 6 pm SLT

Oh, thank goodness! Another Full Moon Lunacy concert, #11/12 to be precise begins tonight on Music Island...join Aldo as he presents another hour of live improv...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Will Microsoft or any other buyer want to buy an empty Second Life shell?

Linden Lab recently served notice that they were going to double the tier fees for non-profits and educational sims, sending universities, non-profits and graduate students with limited budgets into a flurry of thoughts about how to cut 50% of their costs. Some are talking about reducing sims, some are talking about sharing sims, and others are talking about leaving SL entirely. Very few have the ability to simply double what they pay to Linden Lab. Average residents reel as awareness grows that the heart will be carved out of the SL community with the loss of so many of the educational and non-profit organizations and individuals who have contributed so much.

Speculation on listservs and blogs includes the thought that LL hopes to make their bottomline more attractive by inflating their Accounts Receivable, but are these rents that they will really be able to collect?

In an economic climate where most are cutting their budgets (from all sectors)it is guaranteed that, instead, those organizations who elect to stay in Second Life will make do with half of the space. Even in good times, a increase in project budget of this size would take time for an educational institution or research project within the organization to respond to: allocation requests would have to be submitted and approved, grants would have to be applied for, decisions would have to be made. Had there been any warning of this fee increase, or had it been phased in gradually, some institutions might have been able to adjust. However a sudden increase like this in another lightening fast reversal of previous Linden policy not only makes educators feel unwanted, it adds to the long list of sudden reversals, changes, flip-flops, contradictory policies that have shaken the confidence of residents at every level of participation in the virtual world. But the bad news won't stop there!

I fear that some decision-makers at Linden Lab may think "So what, let them go, we don't make most of our money on educational sims and non-profits! Let's free up resources to be used at full market value."

The trouble with that view is a blindness that has plagued LL since the beginning. Despite the occasional platitude, all their actions seem to betray a firm mindset that Second Life's attraction and retention rate is solely or primarily the result of what Linden Lab has developed, Linden marketing and orientation of new avatars. What would Second Life be like without the user-created content? Vast lands of the same few trees, land textures , or and let's not forget those Linden Homes! Is this a place anyone would find interesting? How many of the more interesting builds in SL have been created by non-profits, universities, students and non-profit volunteers within Second Life? I don't have any research but anecdotally most of the interesting builds I am aware of from the Sistine Chapel to the Center for Water Studies to the SL Quaker Meeting House are all educational or non-profit sims. How many interesting builds are created by business? Will an SL of endless shopping malls and big box stores attract more or less citizens?

But avatars' engagement with SL and retention of interest in the virtual world does not stop with exploring builds, in fact in my observation, that's a minority interest. I meet a lot of new residents at Music Island. People come into Second Life wanting to socially interact with others and to do things that interest them. If you look at the listings in the Second Life search engine for things to do, how many of those opportunities are provided by business? How many are provided by individuals? How many are offered by non-profits? How many are hosted by educators?

Once you get past the sales and gimmicks to increase sim traffic stats for businesses, you find many events, exhibits, conferences and discussion groups are created by educators and non-profits. With Linden Lab's doubling of fees, will these events decrease by a corresponding 50% or will there be more of a snowball effect that will more drastically reduce interesting educational, artistic, and informational content within Second Life?

A fair number of other events you see on the SL listings are created by well-meaning individual residents as volunteers. Music Island concerts falls into this group. Many of these individuals, whom I know as colleagues, are willing to give back to the Second Life community because of the quality of the community--a community that includes educational institutions and non-profits that they are a part of or support. In turn, they enjoy being in Second Life themselves because of the enriching atmosphere of learning, discussion, discovery and fun. Other individuals are running pilot projects that they had hoped to run in association with an educational or non-profit organization in the future, or incorporate as a non-profit themselves.

New residents' principle source of help in Second Life is from educational organizations and non-profits who provide free or PWYC (pay what you can) resources including freebie walls, orientation packages and courses in building, making clothing, how to roleplay, and discussion groups on SL relationships/identity issues. I think it is highly likely that I would not have been in SL for the past 5 years had it not been for groups like NCI that taught me to build and pointed me to things of interest. Over those years I have contributed thousands of dollars to the SL economy directly, and contributed much more indirectly through my unpaid labour in coordinating concerts for the benefit of SL musicians and audience members. Every potential resident like me who fails to be engaged in SL because there are fewer non-profit courses, events and support location is a huge loss in revenue stream down the line for Second Life.

Last week, at Music Island I hosted a concert by an SL musician who is a great favorite among our audience, Young Zeid. The sim was full and I was gratified to see among the audience some avatars who had not been online for awhile. I spoke to some in IM. From them I heard similar stories. "SL has not been the same lately with the lay-offs, the damned new viewer, a lot of sims closing, my friends leaving, my project cancelled. . . BUT... I saw your listing for a concert by Young in my email and it seemed like a good time to come back online and visit here and see what's going on. Concert is great and it is good to be here". This was a demonstration of something that should be obvious to Linden Lab, people are retained in Second Life when they have a community and as Richard Florida has pointed out, the creative class of educational and creative workers contribute their weight in gold to the economic health of communities.

If educators and non-profits leave Second Life, it will be less painful for them than it will be for Linden Lab and for individual Second Life residents. Educators and non-profits can migrate their projects to OpenSim or other virtual worlds, for many it will have little impact on their ablity to deliver their courses and projects. However individual SL residents will miss out on the participation and content contributions of educators and students in the community.

My dedication to Second Life was based on the idea that it was a platform that could make a difference in global understanding, the environment, democratic participation, arts practice... a score of different things that were the result of non-profits and volunteers choosing to work within this virtual world.

My Second Life includes non-profit workers, volunteers and educators.

On the demonstrated principle that Linden Lab only cares about money in these days, I would suggest that as a community we take the following actions:

1. Twitter/blog/post everywhere that there will be a vast reduction in interesting content on SL if non-profits and educational institutions leave SL.

2. Boycott Marketplace in protest but support your SL businesses inworld.

3. Ask people to pledge a discontinuance of Premium Accounts by Dec 31, 2010 if LL does not continue discounts for Education and Non-profits.

4. Start Facebook/Linked-In groups to publicize actions.

5. Spend spare minutes in SL at welcome centres handing out notecards to newbies telling them how their SL experience will be adversely affected by the reduction in non-profit and educational presence in SL

6. On a protest day (TBD) cancel all eductional, non-profit, and affiliated events. Publicize the results in attendance.

If you do any of the above, please post in comments here so we can all support each other's effort to build a protest to this disasterous course of action.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thom Dowd and Friends September 25

Thom, Gorse and Daniel will open the early music season with favorites of the renaissance and baroque periods. Josquin, Dowland, van Eyke, Marcello, Demoivre etc. The concert will be on Sat. Sept. 25 at 12 pm pacific, 3 pm eastern, 21.00 Suisse and will be an audio only concert for the best possible quality.

Listening address is

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cindy Ecksol, September 19 @ 12 pm SLT

Labour Day Echoes
Cindy Ecksol, American Roots music

In this program, Cindy will wander through the songs of work and workers with her usual mixture of historical and musical context and a dash of warm humour about the absurdities of life in our own century.

Cindy Ecksol has been making and teaching music with voice, autoharp, fiddle and a variety of other instruments for as long as she can remember. She is particularly interested in traditional music of many varieties, and her repertoire includes everything from Irish tunes and Israeli dance music played on autoharp to dark Appalachian fiddle tunes from the mountains of West Virginia. But her playful side can't resist amusing modern songs about real life, which somehow co-exist with folk songs from long ago.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Pianist Showcase September 18 @ 12 pm SLT

Keyboardists: Waltkeys Faith & JooZz Magic

~ Waltkeys Faith ~

From Walt:

I'm a musician who composes and loves to perform! I say I play Jazz piano because Jazz encompasses all styles of music. I reflect that in my writing.I'm working with Trowser Boa in Real Life, as well as many other jazz, blues, gospel and rock groups! Sandy Demina is helping me connect with clubs and audiences in Italia and Europa. Give me a call directly if you would like to talk about performing in The States.

Go boldly and dare to suck! I'm always amazed at what comes out of me when I do that.

Here are some links to articles that have been written about me.

~ JooZz Magic ~

JooZz is a Dutch musician, who started his musical career at the age of six. Playing the recorder first, which was replaced by the piano a year later. First band was formed at highschool and ever since JooZz is deeply in love with Music.

In 1982 he entered the Rotterdam Conservatory, but family business needed him badly. Now, a few years later, it's Music Time again.....finally.

The music of JooZz is best described as “coming from nowhere, going places”. Starting from scratch, JooZz takes you along to many exciting musical destinations, transferring breathtaking vistas into jewels of brilliant sound. Sometimes danceable, always rich, spiked with healthy doses of melancholy and lessons of life. Using the piano as a base point of reference, JooZz’s compositions, independent of any music style, keep your mind in motion until the next time you hit the ‘play’ button.

More JooZz at:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Have you noticed the new SL "Destination Guide" ?

I think we all need to keep our eye on the changes and new content on the SL homepages.

A few days ago a Music Island audience member came to me to say that she'd tried to point a new resident in the direction of my Music Island concert series, telling her that it could be found under the Showcase tab in "Music Venues".... but... it wasn't there! She'd looked on the web and discovered that there was a new "Destination Guide" replacing showcase and that "classical" had ceased to exist as a genre so Music Island had ceased to exist as well apparently. (And yet we are still hosting concerts weekly).

I finally got around to wrestling with this yesterday morning. Indeed at that time there wasn't a single category in "Music" that I could put our series in. "Indie/Alternative" was perhaps the closest among the choices which ranged from Club/Bar, to Rock, to Blues/Jazz, Country... and so on. All the sub-sets of popular, social music were there.

With some difficulty I found a link to a submission form for a "new" listing (for a series operating since 2007) and started to fill it in. First problem, I needed a photo with specific dimensions hosted on Flickr only. (I use Picassa). Damn... searching on my old computer for an old Flickr account user-name. Edit a photo to exact specs and upload, figure out how to get the URL for the photo in a changed Flickr interface. Next problem.... the field with "genre".... I leave it blank. Write my summary and comments. Hit submit. Submission fails. I try again picking Indie/Alternative and sending along comments about how this was just to get the bleeping submission form to load. Submission fails. I have now spent two hours trying to solve this. I do more searches on the SL site and in the wiki I find a link to an email address to send to if the Destination Guide submission form borks up on you. I pile all my information in an email ... with assorted bitching attached... and fire it off.

Later in the day I tell this story at an inworld meeting and someone searches on Music Island and surprisingly finds it on the Destination Guide. It was in fact the submission I had made earlier in the day (miracle of miracles) but it was slotted with 18 assorted others in a new "genre" category called "Live Music Spots". Hmmmm. I think a number of the rock, country, etc. venues also hold "live events" so this is confusing and a "live music spot" is not a "genre". Since Music Island is on page 3 of the category, I'm sure that we weren't the first ones to say... "hey where are we supposed to fit in this guide?" I was left wondering why in this age where "everything is miscellaneous" we weren't seeing a system based on tagging with the resultant folksonomy rather than trying to create a classification system which will always be limited by the knowledge and worldview of the classifier.... as demonstrated by his/her ignoring of classical music in SL.

Although this might seem like a somewhat happy ending to the story, no one at the meeting using the old viewer or a TPV could access all of the information on the Destination Guide intuitively. Clicking the old "Showcase" tab on search brought up a link to the new Destination Guide but only showed them up only the first few categories on the guide.

Just in case you thought "search" was getting better.

This is not a deathly blow to the Music Island series because I have built up an inworld group of 1575 members and a maillist of 900 more. Most people come to concerts through group notices or at the invitation of a group member. I also post on a few other related groups where appropriate. However, I initially built the group from people finding the venue listing in events or showcase and checking us out. I don't know how many times people have said to me that it took them weeks/months to find Music Island and once there they connected to other events, groups and individuals who led them to an enriched cultural life in SL, that in fact their attendance had been a major turning point in their participation and retention in SL. For the most part these are well-educated and affluent consumers with a lot to offer the virtual world.

So let's make it difficult for them to find the cultural activities they crave?

p.s. Since writing this post I have heard from someone else not happy with another classification of their favorite spot.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend Concert

Bring your July 4 in with a bang!
Cindy Ecksol, American folk song
July 3 @ 6 pm SLT
Fireworks by RacerX Gullwing to follow

SL's grand wizard of Kaboom, RacerX Gullwing will president over the incendiary conclusion to this evening's concert, following our favorite lady of the American heartland, Cindy Ecksol.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 5, 6 and 7 on Music Island

A varied program coming up on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Second Life from experimental to traditional to world music. Whether you like staying with what you know and love or have an adventurous spirit and love expanding your listening palette, you'll find something to enjoy this week.

Enniv Zarf, pianist/composer

Bring out your poems! Bring out your poems! Enniv will be inspired by your favorites this Saturday. Whether it is a classic poem you've always loved or your own work, send it to Kate Miranda for inclusion in the MUSE-IC box. Enniv will be drawing notecards out of the box to find inspiration for piano improvisation in the notecards you provide. Send your notecards to Kate Miranda inworld or to by email by 5 pm SLT Friday June 4.

Izabela Jaworower, violin

The lovely Izabela joins us for a violin recital of all of your favorites and a few you have not heard yet in SL.

MONDAY JUNE 7 @ 12 PM (noon) SLT
Atheene Dodonpa, soprano
Songs from the gypsy campfire

The lovely Atheene Dodonpa is an early music specialist who has brought us wonderful programs in the past such as her memorable musical tour of a Crusader encampment, medieval songs, and a program focusing on the prolific compositions of Abbess Hildegarde von Bingen.

In this program Atheene will turn her attention to the people of the Wagon, Europes Gypsies. Their origins are steeped in myth and mystery and their music has inspired many great classical composers. Now hear the original songs and learn about their history.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is music the "killer app" for Second Life?

Towards the end of my recent appearance on the Metanomics, host Jennette Forager suggested that Linden Lab's CEO had remarked that music could well be the "killer app" for Second Life. Unfortunately this comment and other questions about the economics of music, the "business of music" came too near the end of the session to be fully addressed.

The subject has been very much on my mind of late because I (along with other selected music venue/series hosts) had been asked to meet with Pete Linden, Catherine Linden, and some representatives of an independent marketing firm that the Lindens have hired to market Second Life. At the top of the agenda of that meeting was determining what positive stories we had to tell of music in Second Life and also what we might be willing to share in news stories or online formats.

Coincidentally in the same week I had been talking to RL arts colleagues about an arts marketing initiative of the Canadian government called "Culture Days" in which we are being requested to host some sort of public event to promote arts awareness in our communities. My colleagues' response was "So they want us to work for nothing for a day for some publicity scheme? No thanks!"

An SL musician invited to a private meeting with the Lindens on their marketing plans shared with me that--while he loves performing in SL--this invitation to help market sounds like another case of asking artists to work for nothing and he'll be declining if that's the case.

What is lacking in both RL and SL with all these seemingly great ideas from marketers is how the artists will get paid for the use of their time and talents. There is often a profound misunderstanding of how business is conducted in the arts, the extent to which artists desire particular types of promotion and the restrictions that may be in place preventing the use of particular artists or artistic products for promotional purposes.

Almost every year in my RL orchestra management positions someone from marketing or a Board member would suggest, "hey let's take the orchestra to the mall and do a radio remote as a subscription drive!" I would then hand them a spreadsheet of the costs to rehearse and transport the musicians and gear, pay musician union wages (with broadcast fee) and tell them how many subscriptions we would need to sell in order to cover the costs (usually more than seats in the house, and always more than was reasonable to expect in a two hour program). Only with corporate or foundation support for 50% or more of the costs of the performance, did this become a viable marketing initiative for the orchestra. Oddly enough almost everything you do in the arts boils down to about that 50/50 ratio of income and public support.

What is the public benefit of music in RL and SL? Can you imagine SL without clubs and dancing, the excitement of live music? It is a big part of the "stuff to do" in SL and what keeps people coming in, establishing accounts and wanting to buy land and doll up their avatar. Why dress up when you have nowhere to go to dance, to see and be seen?

In the US, the arts generates $166 B annually in economic activity. Cultural activities do more to bring tourists into cities than major league sports and the people attending cultural activities stay longer and spend more than sports enthusiasts. The economic spinoffs of the arts benefit everyone in the community in indirect ways. More gas sold at the pumps, less crime on streets filled with people coming from arts events, more restaurant jobs, more hotel jobs, more work for printers and marketers, employed musicians and artists in the community who contribute financially and artistically. A healthy arts sector is a key indicator of a healthy city. It pays corporations, communities and foundations to invest in the arts to enable arts organizations to close the gap between what they can sell artistic products for and what it takes to produce those products. Arts organizations give back financial rewards to communities in excess of the support they need to keep them afloat.

The Second Life business community similarly is benefiting from our Second Life artists but is doing little so far to assist in making our music venues, galleries, theatres and dance companies run on a stable financial footing. I realize that business community has its own challenges. I do welcome Pete Linden's factfinding mission on SL music but I think that the stories he is looking for--financial successes for musicians founded in SL music ventures--will be rare.

People often remark about the success Music Island has in routinely having capacity audiences for our performances. What they don't realize is the amount of work that has gone into that over the past couple of years and continues to go into it on a weekly basis. My average time commitment to the Music Island series is two work days a week. While that figure usually astonishes people, when I break down the tasks it seems difficult to imagine how it doesn't take more (and it sometimes does) 1. Reaching and booking artists 2. Getting program, bios, details for posting 3. Creating notecards for the event 4. Creating poster art for the event. 5. posting events on Google calendar, Music Island site, blogging, twittering, SL events listings. 5. Inworld group announcements 6. Group invitations and maillist invitations 7. Configuring inworld mailer device and sending mailer messages, 7 soundchecks and teaching new musicians to stream 8. Meeting with musicians and/or colleagues about projects, festivals, special events. 9 updating lightbox, notegivers 10. hosting concerts themselves 11. doing inworld and rl presentations on music in Second Life. If I were paid my usual salary for this work I would be expecting about $20,000. (pro-rated on my usual fulltime earnings as an arts manager). This has been my personal donation to the Second Life community at a time when I knew that there was not an economic model in place to actually pay for this work, but the work was needed in order to demonstrate what music could do in SL, artistically and as a social and economic catalyst. In the same spirit artists have been donating thousands of dollars worth of their time and talents in performance.

It is a great first step that Linden Lab employees are starting to realize the role that music plays in Second Life. However it would be naive of them to believe that the music community can continue forever on volunteer efforts and funded from personal pocketbooks alone. Music Island is a house of cards with three cards leaning on each other. 1) the donation of artists performances at rates that would cause AF of M representatives to have conniptions 2) the donation of my time as administrator/publicist 3) the donation of the venue space with the only cost my residency tier contribution. These contributions make my costs for running Music Island a total of about $60 per month, and we normally receive about that in $L contributions. The real monthly costs for running Music Island would about $3000 per month approximately equally divided between artistic fees, administrative costs and facility costs.

A $36,000 barebones annual budget for an arts project of the international scope of Music Island should not be cost-prohibitive but what is needed is the political will and awareness of individuals at the top decision-making levels of Linden Lab that we in the arts need help in making our case and connecting to a new type of arts funder. Most arts funders support local, regional and national arts initiatives because of the promotion of quality of life and preservation of national cultural treasures. As an experienced grant writer I can't build a case for funding arts in Second Life to any of the traditional funding sources I apply to annually for RL based arts projects in the Toronto area. If Linden Labs is to continue to benefit from the "killer app" of music in SL, rather than see venue owners and series promoters give up as their resources dry up, we are going to have to make a case together to the international business and arts community about the fit between the marketing of arts internationally and the promotion of the 3D platform as a healthy community for education, business and social networking.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Miriam Forsythe, piano May 23 @ 12 pm SLT

"Old Friends and New Friends"
May 23 @ 12 pm SLT (PDT)
Music Island, Sea Turtle Island


* Arrangements of Pentecost Sunday hymn tunes: "Spirit, I Have Heard You Calling" and "Come, O Spirit" (EBENEZER)
* Frederic Chopin - Ballade no. 3
* Erno von Dohnanyi - Postludium from Winterreigen, op. 13
* J. Russel Robinson - Sapho Rag
* Ludwig van Beethoven - Grande Sonate Pathetique, op. 13
* George Frideric Handel - Air and Variations from Suite no. 1
* Amy Beach - Scottish Legend
* Lincoln Antonio - O Pianista Invisivel (The Invisible Pianist)
* Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude no. 11 from Op. 32

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Miriam Forsythe is a classical pianist who performs a range of music from Bach to new music. Her style is full of emotion and energy. As a dance accompanist in real life, she has a special love for music with exciting rhythms, and gives each piece its own personality.

Miriam Forsythe (Heather W. Reichgott) is a preacher, scholar of theology, pianist, and composer. She studied piano throughout childhood and adolescence, participating in many recitals and competitions both as a pianist and as a composer. After discerning a call to ministry she pursued degrees in religion. Meanwhile, she continued to study piano for two years with Prof. Peter Takacs at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and worked as an accompanist. She presently works as a ballet accompanist at Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Amherst Ballet School (where some of her compositions have been featured in performances).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yuki Ukita, piano Thurs April 15 @ 7 am SLT

Yuki Ukita, piano
Thursday April 15

7 am SLT (PDT)
Music Island, Sea Turtle Island

A wave of great musicians have been arriving in Second Life from Japan and Music Island audiences are fortunate enough to be hearing from two leading lights this month. First pianist Yuki Ukita (YukithePianoPlayer Hutchison in SL) and later this month soprano Haruno Watanabe.

Yuki has planned an ambitious program sure to delight the audience.

Part I:

1 BWV 1068 Air/ -- J.S. Bach
2 Kanon -- Johann Pachelbel
3 K.331 -- Mozart
4 Etude Op.10 No.3 -- Chopin
5 Etude Op.10 No.12-- Chopin
6 Nocturne Op.9 No.2 -- Chopin
7 Ave Maria -- Gounod
8 La Campanella -- Liszt
9 Liebestraume No.3 -- Liszt
10 "Un sospiro"-- Liszt
11 Lieder ohne Worte Op.30 No.6 -- Mendelssohn
12 Lieder ohne Worte Op. 62 No.6 --Mendelssohn
13 Ave Maria -- Schubert
14 Traumerei -- Schumann

Part II:

15 Radetzkymarsch -- Strauss
16 Op.37b No.10 -- Tchaikovsky
17 Aufforderung zum tanz -- Weber
18 Clair de lune -- Debussy
19 Reverie -- Debussy
20 Op.43 No.6 -- Grieg
21 Op.3 No.1 Elegie -- Rachmaninoff
22 Pavane pour une infante défunte -- Ravel
23 Gymnopedie No.1 -- Satie
24 Je te veux -- Satie

Friday, April 9, 2010

Zachh Cale, piano Sat Apr 10 @ 12 pm SLT

Zachh Cale, piano
Saturday, April 10
12 pm
SECOND LIFE TIME (Pacific Daylight Time)
at Music Island, Sea Turtle Island

Join Zachh for some standards and originals. Zachh is a Music Island favorite performer who we've not heard from since December 2009.

At Zachh's first performance, Linden Lab (in their usual lack of regard for the quality programming that makes people want to visit Second Life) decided to restart the sim that the audience was sitting in. As the stage area was in another sim, the ever calm and affable Zachh called out, "Come up and gather round the piano" and we did, weathering the re-start storm on stage for 10 minutes.

I have thought since that day that "Gather 'round the piano" is an apt description for the relaxed and intimate experience of a Zachh Cale concert.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Atheene Dodonpa, early music Thurs Apr 8 @ 1 pm

Medieval Song
Thursday, April 8 @ 1 pm SLT

Accompanying herself on the nun's fiddle, lap harp, hurdy-gurdy or other rarily heard instruments as needed, Atheene's haunting soprano travels the world of the Middle Ages to bring us songs from all cultures in the languages that the works were written and performed in.

If you have attended one of Atheene's concerts previously you will know why they are not to be missed and will prudently arrive at Music Island early to avoid disappointment.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sandia Beaumont, piano and harpsichord

Debussy: Arabesque No.1
Scriabin: Prelude in G flat, Op. 16 No. 3
Etude Op. 2 No. 1
Prelude Op. 11 No. 10
Beethoven: Op. 28, Mvts 2, 3 & 4
Mozart: K.284

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Young Zeid, violin @ Music Island Mar 28, 2010 12: 30 pm SLT

Young Zeid, violin/Viola Music Island, Sea Turtle Island
March 28, 2010
12: 30 pm SLT (Pacific Daylight Time)


Bee F. Schubert ( 1808-1878)
From a set of bagatelles, published in 1856 by the German composer and violinist Franz Anton Schubert. (not to be confused with the earlier and much more famous Austrian composer Franz Schubert. )

Meditation" from Thais J. Massenet(1842-1912)
Though the 3 act opera by Massenet is seldom performed, the intermezzo that opens the third Act remains a popular work for violin.

Romanza Andaluza P. Sarasate (1844-1908),
One of the leading violinists of his era Spanish-born, Pablo de Sarasate was well-known for composing stunning showpieces for the violin that would leave his audiences gasping.

Czardas v. Monti (1868-1922)
A popular rhapsody inspired by a Hungarian gypsy dance, composed for violin and piano is the only famous work by Monti. It has been re-arranged for just about every instrument and also for orchestra.

Milonga en Re A. Piazzolla (1921-1992)
A popular tango from the Argentinian composer.

Entertainer Joplin (1868-1917) arr. J. Heifetz
A member of the first generation of American black citizens after slavery, Scott Joplin was a successful composer of ragtime pieces for the piano. His work has never entirely disappeared from American music but had a popular revival due to being featured prominently on the score of the popular 1970's film, "The Sting". Jascha Heifetz arranged "The Entertainer" for violin to serve as a crowd-pleasing encore for his own concerts.

Kol Nidrei M. Bruch (1838-1920)
Bruch was not Jewish but was struck by the beauty of a traditional Jewish hymn Kol Nidre that forms a part of the Yom Kippur service. The melody was inspiration for a work originally composed for cello and orchestra.

Violin concerto in e minor F. Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
One of the most popular violin concerti, this work was Mendelssohn's first major work and is a staple of the violin repertoire. In three movements.

1. Allegro, molto appassionato (E minor)
2. Andante (C major)
3. Allegretto non troppo – Allegro molto vivace (E major)

About the Artist:

Young Zeid (SL)/Xi Yang (RL), violin/viola

Xi Yang began his distinguished music career when he was a student at the Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China where he studied both violin and viola Performance. He had his first solo debut when he was 9 years old. By the age of 12 he made an average of 200 solo appearances a year in China. He won the National Violin Competition in Shanghai and made his solo debut with the Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra. He then, toured China with the Beijing Youth Symphony as a soloist and concertmaster. At the age of 17, he was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Jacques Tibaud International Violin Competition in Paris, France. The youngest violinist entered the competition for that year which earned him a place in the Encyclopedia of Chinese History.

Arriving in the United States, Mr. Yang won a National Strings Competition in Arkansas and has performed numerous solo recitals, chamber music concerts and gave master classes to young string players from many public schools and colleges. A graduate of Indiana University School of Music, he studied violin and chamber music ensemble, from baroque style to modern composers, under the guidance of James Buswell, Nelli Shkolnikova, Josef Gingold and Rostislav Dubinsky. "Mr. Yang has all the ability and potential to become one of the greatest solo violinists in the world today..." ( Isaac Stern 1987, Indiana University )

Mr. Yang was the Principal Violist for the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera and the Principal Viola with the Symphony of the Americas. He is also the Assistant Concertmaster and a guest conductor, soloist with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra. He has performed for Two Presidents of the United States, President Clinton and President Bush Snr. and been requested to perform by celebrities such as Donald Trump and Sylvester Stallone. He has collaborated with highly regarded classical artists such as Isaac Stern, Placido Domingo,Luciano Pavarotti, Leonard Bernstein, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, as well as some of the great pop stars such as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Michael Jackson, Bary Manilow...among others.

A well established violinist and violist in the Triangle area and beyond, his students are age from 7 years old to adults. He is a member of the Arcangelo Piano Quartet and Duo Appassionato.

Fostering the next generation of musicians is important to Xi Yang. He is the founding music director and conductor of the Youth Symphony of Florida.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Temporary Remodelling of Music Island for AOM concert

"Why is Music Island all mixed up?" said one visitor to MI this morning.

Instead of one stage and seating areas there are two. This state of affairs will persist only until after the Avatar Metaverse Orchestra concert on Sat. Mar. 27. Because of the unique nature of the performance, audience and musicians must be in the same simulation.

For streamed music having the performers across a sim line shelters them from audience lag and assures performers won't be locked out of a full sim should they be disconnected. But for AOM that uses inworld sounds, the sim line is an obstacle to the transmission of their inworld sound content.

So don't be surprised by the changes. Also, get there early as the one sim format means lower capacity! Come early to avoid disappointment.

Avatar Metaverse Orchestra Mar 27 @ 1 pm SLT

Unlike most musicians and musical ensembles in Second Life who perform in the real world and stream their sound (and sometimes video) livetime into the virtual world, the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse (AOM) performances feature virtual instruments designed for each composition within the Second Life platform. The instruments are played using Heads Up Displays (HUD) on the computer screens of artists from around the world making this unique live music together in real time.

Performances are visually as well as musically interesting with the virtual instruments being abstract wearable art sculptures. It is truly a new form of art not possible in real life.

The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse is a global collaboration of artists that approaches the virtual reality platform Second Life as an instrument itself. The Orchestra conceives, designs and builds its own virtual instruments, making it possible for each individual performer in the Orchestra to trigger sounds independent from one another and to play together in real time. These instruments feature sound, visuals, and animations. A performance of a jumping, hovering, floating, dancing, and twirling Avatar Orchestra Metaverse is a truly spectacular event.

Avatar Orchestra performs regularly in Second Life and in mixed reality events at new media, music and visual arts centres in North America, Europe and Asia.

Visit AOM on the web:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Zen Qork Sat Mar 20 8 am SLT

Zen Qork, Improvisational Piano
Saturday March 20, 8 am SLT
Music Island, Sea Turtle Island

Zen Qork AKA Alessandro Lecce is a new classic and film music composer.

Born in 1969 in Milan, Italy, where he studied composition, piano, choral singing, clarinet and music animation. Many of his compositions have been bought by different sound libraries. He also worked as a teacher for several courses of specialisation in new music pedagogy, music therapy and musical entertainment. His conviction is that emotions are a true creative power and of course the music can be a great source of emotions. Currently his work is oriented to the composition of pieces with the hope to be helpful in creating positive emotions.

You can listen to his work at - and

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Must we have sim re-starts in the middle of events?

On Thursday we had a full house when Linden Labs deleted the stage side of Music Island. Previously the start time had been delayed 10 minutes when the audience half of the venue was re-started and everyone who had arrived at the top of the concert ran over the sim line and onto the stage. Subsequent arrivers landed in the ocean or were re-routed to other sims or simply had the program crash on them so that it took awhile to gather an audience to begin the concert.

While this might be understandable during an impromptu event, this event was on the official Second Life calendar of events. How hard would it be for Linden Labs to route sim restarts around scheduled events? Or, to check for high occupancy in sims and delay re-starts in 1 hour increments perhaps 3 times before disrupting popular content.

Doesn't this just make business sense?

During the same week a colleague from virtual music let me know that he had been engaged by Blue Mars to PLAN for musical programming in that virtual world. I adore Second Life, my community and friends are here. However, hearing about a virtual world that made planning for content part of its mandate really made me realize that this is the way things should be.

Right now most of what makes Second Life worth a second visit is the varied and rich array of neat things to do that are largely created and staffed by volunteers. We get burned out. We get tired of the lack of memory in SL that eclipses our accomplishments of years when the "flavour of the day" new project duplicates our work. We get exhausted by gibes from colleagues in RL. We fund stuff from our own pockets as events in SL seem unable to scale as for-profit, nor gain sponsorship/grants for not-for-profit.

And then on top of all that Linden Lab comes along and says, "Oh you've given up two paid days of work a week to run a concert series in SL this year. Silly you. We don't have time to give any attention to your concert schedule ourselves. Now we're re-starting the sim on you because our time is more valuable than yours or the performers or any of the 50 or so avatars in your audience."

I suppose I shouldn't take it personally, shouldn't feel it as a slap in the face for all our work over the past two years. But I do.

We weathered it. We had a laugh. Some found it a bonding experience. I used to feel the same way. I was sure that this would be fixed. The value of content would be appreciated.

But these days I think more and more that I'm whistling into the wind. If RL music doesn't care and the decisionmakers in Second Life don't care, why should I be spending my time, taking a pay cut, stressing out and so on to coordinate events that are tossed aside so casually.

Beginning to be another burned out SL volunteer I'm afraid.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Duo Appassionato Mar 4 @ 8 am

Fantastic Euro-friendly time for Thursday's concert
Thursday Mar 4 @ 8 am SLT
Music Island, Sea Turtle Island

Duo Appassionato possesses exceptional virtuoso ability and musical harmony rarely found in two instrmentalists of the same genre performing together. Both active solo performers of unsurpassed spirit and flair, the duo has a refreshing stage presence and often explores a repertoire that is rarely performed because of its unusually demanding nature. They project " virtuosic devilry and imagination..." and their playing is " stunning and incredibly well matched". Their presence is a highlight to any recital or concert stage.

Violinist Izabela Spiewak began her international music career at the age of 5, and was awarded a scholarship to a music school for gifted young artists at the age of 8. She is performed chamber music concerts, recorded albums with musicians such as Leonard Bernstein, Eduardo Mata, Placido Domingo and Yehudi Menuhin.

Xi Yang began his distinguished music career when he was a student at the Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China where he studied both violin and viola Performance. He had his first solo debut when he was 9 years old. By the age of 12 he made an average of 200 solo appearances a year in China. He won the National Violin Competition in Shanghai and made his solo debut with the Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra. Arriving in the United States, Mr. Yang won a National Strings Competition in Arkansas and has performed numerous solo recitals, chamber music concerts and gave master classes to young string players from many public schools and colleges . Mr. Yang was the Principal Violist for the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera and the Principal Viola with the Symphony of the Americas. He is also the Assistant Concertmaster and a guest conductor, soloist with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra.

Teleport to Music Island

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How anonymity in Second Life works against a positive reputation for artistic practice in virtual spaces

Anonymity as the enemy of artist branding: "Who is this guy again?"

I don't like to think of the arts as a product. I blanche when marketing folks talk about the importance of "branding" to a roomful of arts managers and artists. Afterall we like to think that we are in the business of providing transformative experiences and not just a product. We hope that the audience will reward the quality of the art and not the brand name.

But in our busy world, we want to easily find what we like and trust, and that includes the artists and arts organizations that fit our interests and consistently deliver experiences that enrich our lives.

In Second Life, performing artists who wish to promote their art in the virtual world are forced to create new identities rather than import their known real world brand. Then they have to bridge the gap the second time to take their inworld followers out to sites to market CD's or downloadable files. Some have decided to market themselves in SL separately, giving up on trying to make the links. This means doubling up on social networking identities, broadcasts and sites. Why does it have to be this hard? Cannot people be given the choice to use real identities in SL?

Anonymity and the credibility of arts in virtual spaces: "Oops, he's not really that guy"

The credibility of SL arts is compromised every time someone fakes their performance or identity. It also places SL presenters in a quandry on the few occasions where they come across an obvious forgery. They have no mandate to police SL and no incentive to get into a disagreement.

One time this season I was asked to present a performer that had a long record in Second Life. From the online samples and program he planned, I scheduled a performance, and so did one of my closest colleagues on her series. The forged performance was easy to detect even by an untrained ear. The pianos used on the various spliced tapes and live streamed bits varied from upright to grand to electronic. An awkward beginning with voice over (live streamed) was suddenly awkwardly replaced with virtuosic performance with a totally different sound colour and spatial acoustic.

I sat in silence unable to affirm this forgery with applause or comment and simply vowed to never invite the entity to the series again and to quietly alert colleagues. As a volunteer who works long hours to present value-added content in Second Life, I didn't feel my interests or the audience's interests were served by getting into some likely contentious expose of this isolated individual's shenanigans. However I couldn't help thinking that if performers used real identities customarily, this guy would not/could not have so easily misrepresented himself.

Anonymity and the safety and security of artists: "I'm crazy about that guy"

The last issue regarding anonymity relates to the behavior of some unbalanced audience members that poison the climate for performers out of resentment, obsessive fan behaviour or other personal problem.

This week we may have lost one of SL's rising stars due to cyberstalking. The artist in question is taking time out from SL and thinking about whether the many pluses outweigh the negatives and danger from a crazy who has invaded their life and privacy. What do you do when someone whose true identity you don't know begins to post things about you on the internet, follows you to your social networking pages and reveals they have contact information for your loved ones? "Creeped out" doesn't begin to express it. While the behaviours might violate LL's TOS or even be illegal if threats or blackmail is explicit, it is all new terrain, legalities aren't clear, and why should an artist bother? It is so much easier to delete the profile, exit SL, and get on with their life.

Once again the culture of anonymity -- while it might be ideal for roleplayers or those seeking to experiment with identity in SL -- is often a huge liability in the marketing of artists, the credibility of the arts in virtual reality and the safety and security of artists. Shouldn't anonymity be a choice and a privilege with some limits for the community good? I believe that those using anonymity to misrepresent themselves and/or to cause harm should lose their right to hide behind avatar names. I have wondered whether the simple device of displaying IP addresses for all avatars would dissuade people from disreputable and illegal acts. Those having no wish to be anonymous should be able to choose to use their own names, verifying identity by the same means that age verification takes place.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Musical Roleplay, Mihangel Thespian

It is one thing to present a musician in the somewhat friendly and controlled environment of Music Island. Today on Jan 31 at 11 am SLT, the intrepid harpist ventures into Gorean roleplay, his harp becoming part of a roleplay adventures.

Goreans are among the more numerous and popular of the roleplay communities in Second Life, and one of the most controversial. The science-fiction/fantasy works they are based on by John Norman have found an international following despite being widely acknowledged as being rather poorly written and repetitive. Norman, a psychologist by profession, seems to be exploring the terrain of erotic imagination thinly disguised as fantasy. Politically incorrect, illogical, and a hodge-podge of cultural stereotypes, still it resonates with many followers who feel that the modern "vanilla" view of relationships between men and women represses our animal instincts. Taken as erotic fantasy the novels are tame compared to works like Ann Rice's "Beauty" series. Taken as a model for relationships in real life (as some Goreans do), the novels deeply trouble feminists as advocating second-place status for all women.

Taking music into this community of heavily armed warriors and scantily clad women avatars will be a walk on the wild side for harpist Mihangel Thespian.

The concert has been announced with the following set-up:


The Story:

Long days ago ago the story began... a ragged wandering harpist approached Laura's Head Merchant Fuzsea in the teaming port of Schendi. HIs harp strapped on his back, the minstrel's gaunt visage told a tale of destitution and his wary glances betrayed an aura of desperation.

As Laura's merchant oversaw the loading of rare spices and goods that would fetch a good price when safely brought to port in the North, the bard grew near, keeping well to the shadows. A corner of his gilded harp peaked out from its leather wrappings on his back, a tell-tale clue that this wanderer had seen better days. The Merchant's eyes narrowed thinking, "Surely there is a tale behind this odd one".

"Are you the Master of this ship? Will you be returning to Laura?" the Minstrel called out from his place among the crates.

"Ai" Fuzsea nodded, his face an ureadable mask as he eyed his girl sternly about her task of recording the loaded goods. He had taken to personally seeing that the cargo was recorded correctly, with none of her suspicious "mistakes".

"What price passage on this ship?"

"Five gold tarns. Tis a perilous journey and looking at your scrawny bones and hands unaccustomed to a man's work, I don't expect you could lend much work to pay your passage."'

The bard pulled out a thin purse and showed the Merchant the small collection of copper and scant silver within. "This is all I have and I must get to Laura!" The Merchant laughed and gave him a shove, "Then lad you must earn more coin or sprout wings and fly. Those coins are not enough for passage on a garbage barge, but thank you for the goodly laugh. It does my digestion good" and a healthy belch followed as the Merchant turned back to his task.

The Minstrel's shoulders fell. He gathered his cloak about him and he started back to the City. Pausing he looked back and saw the Merchant with his hand on his girl's collar, pulling her to her knees and snatching up her wax tablet angrily as he fingered the whip at his belt. This could be his chance to slip on the ship undetected. With haste and stealth he doubled back and secreted himself among the casts to be loaded.


It was several days out of port when the Minstrel was detected. Hauled to the Captain for judgement, the Merchant scowled and told his men to throw the impudent stowaway overboard despite the man's anguished pleas for mercy. As they tied him, one of the men said, "It's long nights and hard ones on the sea. Let him play for us before we cast him into the sea"

"Why should I play for you, you filthy villains?" cried the Wanderer. "You'll be killing me anyway".

The crafty merchant pondered. A happy crew was a good investment. "I'll make you a bargain, then lad. If you please the crew tonight, you buy a day's journey and another day of life."

Begrudgingly the man drew forth the harp and began to tune its strings as word spread and the men and scant passengers came up to gather on the deck in the moonlight. Once the hands struck the strings a change came over the musician as a magical light seemed to come to his face and his eyes wandered to a land unknown. So were the listeners transported by the sounds of the gilded harp and the tales of wonder told in music. As heads began to nod in sleep, it was clear that the bard had more than won his day's reprieve.

And so the game continued nightly until the ship neared Laura. While taking on supplies and unloading goods onto the river boats for transport to Laura on the final leg of the journey, the Merchant sent word ahead. He was bringing a captive to the City of Laura for the entertainment of the Citizens. If he pleased them, his freedom and passage was paid and his crime was forgiven. If not the Merchant would keep him as a captive on the ship for the crew's pleasure.


Join us for a Musical Roleplay!

Mihangel (Angel) is proud to be one of the rare breed of harpist who happen to be male!

Living in Wales and working across the globe, he is an accomplished performer, who has played since he was five years old, plays both the Welsh lever and orchestral harp, he has worked hard to show the breadth of his instrument.

Playing a fairly wide repetoire - from traditional Welsh folk music, pure classical pieces by Debussy et al to the more complicated works to Karl Davies and Salzedo, Angel has performed in many of the worlds larger venues - Millenium Centre,Cardiff; Royal Albert Hall, London; Sydney Opera House, Sydney to name but a few.

He is one of the most accomplished classical musicians performing in Second Life and is obviously a lot of fun and a very good sport.

(This concert is brought to Laura through collaboration with the MUSIC ISLAND CONCERT SERIES,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jan.24 Izabela Jaworower, Music Island Concerts


Izabela Jaworower, violin
Music Island
a program of favorite violin sonatas

Help Ensemble X Choose a Name this Saturday

Thom Dowd's Early Music Group presents a live concert of recorder music featuring Group X.

Saturday, January 23
12:00 noon SLT
Renaissance Island (Music Room)

For more information about the program, consult Thom Dowd's blog .

What is "Group X?" Merely a newly formed quartet of the most talented group of young recorder performers you will find anywhere. During their concert they will ask the audience to help them find a new name for their group. Come prepared with suggestions.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Students prepare for Performance Exams with Second Life Concert. SUN JAN 17 @ 12 pm SLT

Thom Coard of the Fribourg Conservatory in Switzerland manages to show off the skills of his recorder students to an international audience on a regular basis and all for the price of a good web cam and some broadcasting software.

I know that the students and student families appreciate the extraordinary opportunity he is providing. It is also a heartwarming experience for those of us in the Second Life community who love music. The pure sound of the recorder ensembles is a joy on a bright sea side day in virtual reality. The excitement and joy of the students is infectious and uplifting.

If you are interested in providing this kind of activity for your students or amateur ensemble, the great people at tech soup have provided a simple to follow set of instructions for using the Quicktime broadcaster into Second Life. You'll also need a scripted SL screen. (many free copies available) and the land permissions to put a media stream into your land. The texture used on your screen must be copied into the media settings on the land as that texture will be replaced by the contents of the video URL.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Music Series launched Thurs. Jan.14 @ 6 pm

AldoManutio Abruzzo has been a guest artist, a collaborator and a friend over the past year at Music Island and I am so excited that he is going to now be offering a new series of discussion and performance of new music over the next year. The New Moon series is planned to feature the best in SL new music, programmed and hosted by Aldo on the nights of the New Moon.